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USS Gwin (DD-433)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Gwin (DD-433)

USS Gwin (DD-433) was launched 25 May 1940 by the Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Jesse T. Lippincott, second cousin of Lt. Cmdr. Gwin and commissioned at Boston 15 January 1941, Lt. Cmdr. J. M. Higgins in command.

USS Gwin (DD-433) completed shakedown training 25 April 1941 and underwent final alterations in the Boston Navy Yard before conducting neutrality patrol throughout the Caribbean Sea. On 28 September 1941 she assumed identical service in the North Atlantic from her base at Hvalfjordur, Iceland. After the infamous raid on Pearl Harbor, she hurried back to the Eastern Seaboard thence through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, Calif.

USS Gwin (DD-433) departed Pearl Harbor 23 May 1942 with Marine reinforcements for Midway and returned to port 1 June. Two days later she raced to join the Fast Carrier Task Force searching for the approaching Japanese Fleet off Midway. But the crucial battle was all but concluded by the time she arrived on the scene 5 June 1942. USS Gwin (DD-433) departed Pearl Harbor 15 July 1942 to operate in the screen of fast carriers who pounded Japanese installations, troop concentrations and supply dumps as Marines invaded Guadalcanal in the Solomons 7 August 1942. In the following months USS Gwin (DD-433) convoyed supply and troop reinforcements to Guadalcanal.

Having been overhauled, USS Gwin (DD-433) returned to the Southwest Pacific 7 April 1943 to escort troop reinforcements and supplies throughout the Solomons. On 30 June she served with the massive amphibious assault force converging on New Georgia under the leadership of Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner. The half-dozen enemy shore batteries were soon silenced as USS Gwin (DD-433) laid down an effective heavy smokescreen to protect the unloading transports. 

USS Gwin (DD-433) escorted a reinforcement echelon from Guadalcanal to Rendova, then raced out in to the "Slot" 7 July to rescue 87 survivors of cruiser USS Helena, lost in the Battle of Kula Gulf. She then joined a cruiser-destroyer task force under Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth to head off a formidable "Tokyo Express" headed through the Solomon Islands to land troops at Vila. The battle was joined past midnight of 12-13 July and Japanese cruiser Jintsu quickly slid to the bottom, the victim of smothering gunfire and torpedo hits. But four Japanese destroyers, waiting for a calculated moment when Ainsworth's formation would turn, launched 31 torpedoes at the American formation. His flagship USS Honolulu, cruiser USS St. Louis and USS Gwin (DD-433), maneuvering to bring their main batteries to bear on the enemy, turned right into the path of the deadly "long lance" torpedoes. Both cruisers received damaging hits but survived. Gwin was not so fortunate. She received a torpedo hit amidships in her engine room and exploded in a burning white heat, a terrible sight. Destroyer USS Ralph Talbot took off USS Gwin (DD-433)'s crew after their heroic damage control efforts failed; and she had to be scuttled. Two officers and 59 men perished with the gallant destroyer, casualties of the Battle of Kolombangara.

For a complete history of USS Gwin (DD-433) please see its DANFS page.